And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”
Food For Thought:
This is probably one of the most well-known passages of Scripture―in part because people write this Scripture on signs and hold them up at sporting events. Yet a problem arises when we use this passage of Scripture as a battering ram to beat people over the head about Christian beliefs. All too often, this Scripture has been used as a way to tell people that if they don’t believe in Christ, they are going to spend eternity in hell. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a problem with Christians using their faith as a way to judge others. Throughout Scripture we are told that we are not supposed to judge―that when we look for the speck in other people’s eyes we ignore the log in our own. Think about ways that you have been judgmental to others. Can you put your judgment away?
Loving God, instill in us a caring and gracious heart. Help guide us to love others rather than pass judgment on others. Help us to truly reflect your kindness and your love in this world. In your precious name we pray, Amen.